An Abita Springs legislator has pre-filed a bill that would allow caterers to serve alcohol at a brewery-hosted private event, a move that would give local craft brewers another revenue source.
Cary Koch, executive director of the Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild, says many breweries that have opened in the state planned to host events as part of their business model. However, two years ago the Louisiana ATC issued an advisory that kept breweries from hosting events where a caterer was selling or serving alcohol.
“It was a big hit to breweries,” Koch says. “(All the breweries) will take advantage of this allowance. If they can get a few more dollars, that gives them flexibility and somewhat of an ability to plan a few months out.”
The state, which saw six breweries open and another four close last year, has one of the highest closing rates for breweries in the nation, according to Koch. Baton Rouge currently has two breweries—Tin Roof Brewing Co. and Southern Craft Brewing Co.—operating, while several others plan to open this year.
“We’re not as sustainable and predictable as we want to be,” Koch says, “but we are growing and making an impact on state and local areas we operate in.”
HB 246, filed by Rep. Scott Simon, R-Abita Springs, has been provisionally referred to the Committee on Judiciary, according to the Legislature’s website.